228 Squint and Amblyopia: Their Cure
at fault, asked my opinion as to which of them should be operated upon. I showed the patient how to make her squint worse, and recommended that Dr. Gislason treat her by eye education without an operation. He did so, and in less than a month the patient had learned to turn both eyes in voluntarily. At first she did this by looking at a pencil held over the bridge of the nose; but later she became able to do it without the pencil, and ulti mately she became able to produce every kind of squint at will. The treatment was not pleasant for her, because the production of new kinds of squint, or the making worse of the existing condition, gave her pain; but it effected a complete and permanent cure both of the squint and of the amblyopia. The same method has proved successful with other patients.
Some patients do not know whether they are looking straight at an object or not. These may be helped by watching the deviating eye and directing them to look more nearly in the proper direction. When the deviating eye looks directly at an object, the strain to see is less, and the vision is consequently improved. Covering the good eye with an opaque screen, or with ground glass, encourages a more proper use of the squinting eye, espe cially if the vision of that eye is imperfect.
Children of six years, or younger, can usually be cured of squint by the use of atropine, a one per cent solution being instilled into one or both eyes twice a day, for many months, a year, or longer. The atropine makes it more difficult for the child to see, and makes the sunlight disagreeable. In order to overcome this handicap it has to relax, and the relaxation cures the squint.
The improvement resulting from eye education in cases of squint and amblyopia is sometimes so rapid as to be